Born in remote Siberia, Dmitri Mendeleev endured a life of hardship before landing a coveted professorship at St. Petersburg University at the age of 33. Over one weekend in 1869, while struggling to organize the textbook he was writing, he created a chart that today hangs in every chemistry classroom in the world: the Periodic Table. Other European scientists had sensed a hidden order among the elements — one had even published a table similar to Mendeleev’s. But only this young Russian had the courage to predict the properties of three "missing” elements — soon found with just the properties Mendeleev predicted. Strangely, there was one new element Mendeleev could never accept: radium.